I wrote yesterday on the reasons why the anti-arthritis drug Vioxx has been withdrawn from sale: People taking it have a small (in absolute terms) extra risk of having a non-fatal heart attack.
A medical correspondent has emailed me with an interesting suggestion, however: The extra heart attacks might be a sign of the drug’s success! If Vioxx is better at relieving arthritic pain it might make people taking it more likely to lead active lives — having more sex, engaging in more outdoor activities etc. And since the extra heart attacks usually occur among people who are already frail or elderly, those extra activities might put enough strain on their hearts to bring on a heart attack in some instances. So the claim that the extra heart attacks are due to the drug itself may be quite wrong. It is just an assumption.
Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don’t forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here